John Tortorella would have been proud. If only the Sedin twins could block shots like the Canadiens...
Maybe this is what Toronto are referring to when they talk about shot quality. Perhaps good quality shots are those that find their way towards the net, while poor quality shots are those that find their way towards the shin or skate or body of a Montreal player. You can see the effect of Montreal's shot-blocking when you look at the discrepancy between Corsi and Fenwick numbers. According to Corsi (which includes blocked shots in the totals) the Stars drastically outchanced the Canadiens, 64-50. However, if Fenwick is your go to, the numbers would tell you that the Canadiens won the possession battle 39-35. If you're a little slow with your math this morning, completely excusable, that translates to 29 shots blocked by Montreal. That's more shots blocked than the Stars were actually able to put on net in the course of the game.
Let's take positives from the game though. Somebody else can take the negatives. Turnovers? What turnovers? *David closes his eyes and covers his ears* Positives though! The Stars outshot the Canadiens, holding them to only 24 shots. In fact, if one were to forget that the Stars opened the season with twelve other games and focus only on the last two, the Stars average shots against is right up there with the Sharks at 24.5. That is what can be termed 'mprovement,' and I don't give a fig for your small sample sizes.
Other positives include Tyler Seguin showing some life in the faceoff circle and proceeding to win 10 of 17 on the night, Kari being solid, despite playing both nights of a back-to-back, and Valeri Nichushkin still killing it in horseshoes and hand grenades. He's going to get an actual goal soon though, and it's going to open the floodgates. Or not. The hockey gods are fickle.
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Forget Lindy Ruff's homecoming in Buffalo on Monday, everybody was returning home to Montreal last night. Everyone's a Canadien. [Sports Day DFW]
The versatility of Erik Cole. But where is he going to end up in the lineup? [Sports Day DFW]
If we get nothing else from last night's game, at least we have this quote from theactivestick on the Canadiens' SB Nation site: "The Dallas Stars are far better than I expected them to be. I kind of forgot about the personnel and coaching changes. Miles better than I expected them to be." Moral victory boys, moral victory. [Eyes on the Prize]
Down Goes Brown's musings on the importance of a hot, or cold, start to the season. Not that this applies to the Stars. 5-6-1 would probably be described as tepid at best. [Grantland]
And lastly, the video is amusing, but better yet is the screen capture on the description. In case you missed it, Ray Whitney photo-bombing Tyler Seguin during a pre-game interview. [NHL.com]